Apr 15, 2019, 16:00 PM
When Citywide opened the door to first-time owner-drivers at its West Melbourne waste transfer station last year, the first person to step up was someone with a lifelong career in courageous choices.
Yasin Ali Hussein, 33, fled his native Iraq at the height of the Iraq War in 2007, and spent four years as a refugee in Indonesia before he and his young family were granted asylum in Australia.
After getting his Australian driver’s licence, he tried removals, then interstate deliveries – finally finding “a real job” at the Dynon Road Waste Transfer Station in late 2016.
So when Citywide Manager Travis Martin decided to switch to owner-driver contracts – giving his drivers the chance to start their own business – Yasin was a natural ‘first cab off the rank’.
“We needed a new fleet of prime movers,” explains Travis, “so it was a win-win to help some of our guys obtain the finance to buy their own trucks, and have a fleet of new vehicles operated by highly experienced and motivated drivers.
“Yasin has always been a hardworking driver, and helping him buy his own truck and create a better future for his family felt like the right thing for a business like Citywide to be doing.”
For Yasin, however, Travis wasn’t just presenting a unique business proposal – but “the biggest chance of my life”.
Today, 12 months after taking possession of his $200,000 Freightliner, and two weeks before moving into a new home, Yasin gets very emotional when he speaks about his boss Travis.
“My life has completely changed, all because he gave me this chance,” Yasin says.
“I have my truck, and a four-bedroom house, and my wife Yasmine and our four children are all doing well and very happy.
“You cannot imagine what this means to me.”
Yasin – now proprietor of Yass Transport – is doing five 12-hour shifts each week at Dynon Road. During each shift, he can haul six or seven loads of general waste to the landfill site at Werribee. He was employing a second driver, but says he prefers being the only operator of his precious prime mover.
“Employing another guy gave me a headache,” he laughs. “I prefer to be the only person driving my truck – then I can keep it clean and in good condition.”
On May 1st, Yasin will be one-third of the way to paying off his Freightliner. “When I finish paying for this truck, it’s going to be fantastic. We will soon be moving from Werribee to Sunshine, so we will have a house just 10 minutes’ drive from work.
“I feel that all my plans are coming true now. I love Citywide, seriously.
“And Travis… he is like a brother to me – not like a boss anymore!”
Simon Mossman, Group Corporate Communications – Citywide
M 0427 307 216
Our vision is for everyone to live and prosper in healthy, safe, sustainable and vibrant cities and communities as our cities grow into the future.
Responsive and innovative, we shape liveable cities by delivering the full scope of civil infrastructure, open space and environmental services to government and private enterprise. Collectively, our services positively impact more than 12 million Australians every day.